James Albright

James
Albright
Articles
When Pilots Become Passengers 
During my first-ever opportunity to lead a formation of two T-37 jet trainers as a solo pilot, my wingman, also a student pilot, failed the ride. I asked the instructor why the other lieutenant busted.
Approach Impossible: 'Chair Flying' To Minimums Or Not At All  16
Much of flying is an act of faith. You are placing your trust in those who designed and built the aircraft, in those who maintain it and in those who trained you to defy gravity for a living.
Big Sky Redefined  31
The Theory: The sky is so vast and your aircraft so small, there’s almost no chance of a “midair” encounter. Of course we all know this theory is invalid and would never embrace such a blind course of aircraft avoidance. And yet so many of our actions validate the theory that we needn’t look outside our aluminum tubes to see others that might share our airspace. The classic “beak-to-beak” midair collision scenario came from the U.S. Air Force in the 1970s. It featured an F-4 Phantom II heading right at you, the closure speed was on the order of 900 kt. and you didn’t stand a chance.
‘Fixing’ Problem Pilots  31
For safety’s sake, it is up to us to help problem pilots improve. Learn about the seven types of problem pilots, what drives them and how to approach them.
The Disappearing But All-Important Aviation Uber Mentors  10
The pilot shortage is real and growing and that means the professional pilot force is “out there,” doing the job at hand. It would be tragic if the best and brightest of those were too busy flying to mentor the next generation.
Safety: Normalization Of Deviance  6
Most pilots have probably heard the story from Greek mythology about Icarus, the ancient aviator who flew too close to the sun and came crashing down into the sea. Since it was Daedalus, his father, who designed and constructed those wings of bird feathers tied with string and wax, it can be said that not only was he the original aeronautical engineer, but he included a maximum cruise altitude in his design specifications. Fly too high, he warned his son, and the wax used to fasten the feathers would melt.
How To Avoid Aviation Maintenance Malpractice  25
The ability to quickly diagnose a problem and come up with a solution is a valuable skill, even when you earn your living working on multimillion-dollar aircraft.
Never Too Late To Examine The Safety, Comfort, Reliability Relationship 
The preceding elements are “greater than” the subsequent. But theory is often overwhelmed by reality.
Improving Levels Of Safety  10
There are risks inherent to any act of aviation. How can we best improve our levels of safety?
Managing Automation In The Cockpit  9
With each new generation of aircraft, we are treated to levels of automation unparalleled in performance and reliability.
Analyzing Problems, Finding Solutions Before They Cause Accidents  15
The primary purpose of investigating any aircraft accident is to prevent recurrence. Legal teams may wrestle with "who" when assigning blame, but investigators are focused on the "why" to make sure the "what" never happens again.
Learning How To Say ‘No’ 18
The pilot breed has in it the primal instinct to attempt every assigned task, no matter the odds of success. Like many of our innate urges, this proclivity must be kept in check because in an airplane, acting on it can be deadly.
Strategies for Avoiding Airport Departure Obstacles 4
There are at least three strategies for dealing with airport departure obstacles, each valid in its own way but each with limitations that must be understood to maximize safety margins.
Lessons from the Bedford Gulfstream Accident, Part 2 13
We are told that on May 31, 2014, the professional pilot world got a wake-up call when two pilots crashed their Gulfstream IV (N121JM) at Hanscom Field (BED), Bedford, Massachusetts, and killed all on board. The NTSB rightfully called their performance an act of intentional, habitual noncompliance, but that was being charitable.
Getting the Most Miles from Your Jet-A 10

Most professional pilots earn their instrument ratings sitting behind one or more propellers, after having learned textbook definitions of maximum endurance and range speeds.

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